Sep. 28, 2016
Top 20 Funny and Strange California Sports Names of All-Time (one page)
#20- Boog Powell- Boog played for the 1977 Los Angeles Dodgers
#19 Boof Bonser- Born John Paul Bonser, he legally changed his name to "Boof" after his season in the San Francisco Giants farm system. Boof was drafted 21st overall in the 2000 draft by the Giants and played for the Fresno Grizzlies before being traded to the 2003 to the Minnesota Twins organization, along with pitchers Joe Nathan and Francisco Liriano, for catcher A. J. Pierzynski.
#18 Vida Blue- Vida pitched for the Oakland Athletics and San Francisco Giants. Vida's name created controversy with A's owner Charlie Finley in 1971. According to Society for American Baseball Research, "In 1971 Blue became involved in his first controversy with owner Charlie Finley. Finley offered Blue $2,000 to change his middle name legally to “True.” The always creative Finley saw the nickname as another way to market his pitching superstar. Blue declined the offer. He liked his name, thought it unique as it was, and had no desire to change it. Finley however would not let the idea rest. When Blue pitched, his name appeared on the scoreboard as “True Blue.” Finley instructed the A’s radio and television announcers to refer to Blue by the nickname. Blue asked them to stop, and also asked the team’s public-relations people not to refer to him as True Blue in press releases or to use the name on the scoreboard. This situation began the friction between Blue and Finley that blew up after the end of the season."
#17 Milton Bradley- Milton played for the Dodgers (2004-05), Oakland A's (2006) and San Diego Padres (2007). He was a talented player but was also known for being a hot-head both on and off the field with numerous domestic violence arrests.
#16, #15, #14- 1970 Early 1970s Oakland A's Starting Pitchers- Catfish Hunter, Blue Moon Odom, and Rollie Fingers joined Vida Blue (listed above). Odom was nicknamed Blue Moon in grade-school by a classmate who thought Odom's round face resembled the moon. A's owner Charlie Finley gave Hunter the nickname "Catfish" in 1965 because he thought his 19-year-old pitcher needed a flashy nickname. A story circulated that Hunter's family gave him the nickname as a child when he went missing and was later found with a string of catfish; there is no truth to that explanation. Roland Glen Fingers is best known for his awesome moustache.
#13 Tim Spooneybarger- Spooneybarger was born in San Diego in 1979. He played for the Atlanta Braves and Florida Marlins before twice suffering career ending Tommy John surgery.
#12 World B. Free- Was born born Lloyd Bernard Free in 1953. Also known as "All-World" he played for the San Diego Clippers and Golden State Warriors. On December 8, 1981, a day before his 28th birthday, he legally changed his first name to World. According to Free, "the fellas back in Brownsville gave me the nickname "World" when I was in junior high... they just started calling me 'all-world', because all-city and all-county and things like that weren't good enough. Finally they just started calling me World... I'm still the same guy I was when I was Lloyd, though. I'll say what I'm going to do, and then I'll go out and do it."
#11 Shooty Babitt- Born as Mack Neal Babitt, his father nicknamed him “Shooty” after hearing a local disc jockey use the name frequently. Played one season with the Oakland A's.
#10 Commander King- King was a two-year starter for Coach Jerry Hernandez at Irvine Valley College, one of southern California's highly successful junior college basketball programs in the late 90s. Upon leaving IVC, King signed with Northern Arizona University. Today he is the head basketball coach at Seton Catholic Prep in Chandler, Arizona.
#9 I M Hipp- Born Isiah Moses Walter Hipp, he took on the "I M Hipp" name... who wouldn't? After a good career at running back for the Nebraska Cornhuskers, he played one season in the NFL with the Oakland Raiders in 1980.
#8 Coco Crisp- Everyone loves Coco, who was born Covelli Loyce Crisp. As a kid he was given the nickname Coco by his brother and sister who believed he looked like a character on the Cocoa Krispies cereal box.
#7 Fair Hooker- Hooker grew up in Los Angeles and played for the Cleveland Browns for six years. During a televised game- after Hooker caught a pass, commentator Don Meredith was heard to exclaim "Isn't Fair Hooker a great name?" Keith Jackson said "I'll pass" and Howard Cosell remained silent, so Meredith continued on: "Fair Hooker...I haven't met one yet."
#6 Dick Pole- Dick was a long-time MLB pitcher and was pitching coach for the Anaheim Angels in 1999.
#5 Pete LaCock- Born in Burbank, grew up in Los Angeles and went to William Taft High School in Woodland Hills. LaCock Played for Cubs and Royals as a first baseman during the 1970s.
#4 Steve Sharts- Played baseball at Cal State Northridge before going on to play in the minor leagues.
#3 Rusty Kuntz- Born in Orange, CA and went to college at Cal State Stanislaus. He played for the Chicago White Sox, Minnesota Twins and Detroit Tigers between 1979 and 1985.
#2 Chubby Cox- Played for the University of San Francisco Dons in 1976-78. He was drafted in the 8th round (7th pick) by the NBA's Chicago Bulls in 1978. However, Cox did not make an NBA roster until the 1982–83 season, when he played seven games for the Washington Bullets. Cox's sister Pam is the wife of former NBA player Joe Bryant and the mother of former Los Angeles Lakers guard Kobe Bryant. Cox played professionally in the Continental Basketball Association (CBA) from 1978–1981. Over three seasons with the Philadelphia Kings, Pennsylvania Barons, and Wilkes-Barre Barons, Cox averaged nearly 22 points per game.
#1 Misty Hyman- Misty Dawn Marie Hyman, born in1979, is an Olympic swimming gold medalist. She swam for the Stanford Cardinal before going on to Olympic fame. Hyman won the gold medal in the women's 200-meter butterfly at the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney